Chapter 770: Explosive Rage! Dayan Mangban Moves Out!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
With the battle concluded, Wang Chong was putting all his efforts into building up the fortifications as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, Heba Ye was delivering the news to the Qixi Protectorate headquarters.
"What? Impossible! Heba Ye, you are sure that this is correct? Did the Ü-Tsang Mountain Army really have twenty to thirty thousand soldiers?" In the main hall of the protectorate headquarters, Fumeng Lingcha bolted off this throne and stared in disbelief at Heba Ye, who had personally come from his camp.
"Lord Protector-General, your subordinate personally witnessed it. There is no mistake!" the kneeling Heba Ye said, his head hanging even lower.
He had originally wanted to send a scout over, but owing to the seriousness of the matter and the importance the Protector-General placed on that Wang Clan son, he had ultimately decided to personally visit.
Moreover, this matter was simply too shocking and had never happened in all the history of Qixi's interactions with the plateau. Heba Ye did not dare make any decisions on his own, nor did he wish to see any misunderstandings or gaps in knowledge.
Thus, he had personally come to the Qixi Protectorate to explain the matter to Fumeng Lingcha.
"Impossible! Without permission of the Imperial Court, privately raising an army will result in the death penalty, and besides, how could he possibly possess such powerful soldiers?" Fumeng Lingcha said in shock.
Although there had been news that a Tang army had taken some secret path to infiltrate the Tibetan Plateau and had exterminated more than twenty thousand recruits at Zhangzhung Recruit Training Camp, and there was a high chance that this was the doing of Wushang's Wang Chong, Fumeng Lingcha simply didn't believe it.
There were only a few paths between Ü-Tsang and the Great Tang, and each of these paths was garrisoned by an army. The existence of some secret path was absolutely impossible.
This explanation wasn't reliable at all.
Moreover, all this information was from Ü-Tsang's side, and only the Tibetans could decide if what was being said was true or false. No one else could prove their accounts.
Without firm evidence, Fumeng Lingcha would never believe such fantastical claims.
But this time was different. This battle had taken place just moments ago on the Tibetan Plateau, and Heba Ye had personally witnessed it, so he was forced to believe it.
"Let's go! I want to take a look for myself!"
A light flashed in Fumeng Lingcha's eyes, and he immediately began to stride out of the hall.
Fumeng Lingcha was far from the only one to be stunned by the battle on the plateau.
"What? Buluhu's Mountain Army was crushed? Bastard thing! When did the Qixi Protectorate army become so capable?"
Deep within the Tibetan Plateau, around a thousand li from the triangular gap where the battle had taken place, Dayan Mangban was fuming.
"General, it wasn't the Qixi Protectorate army, but some Great Tang army of unknown background. They didn't have many soldiers, but their strength was more than double the Qixi Protectorate army's."
"Not only that, even General Buluhu was killed in battle."
"General, this matter has been confirmed many times over. We are not lying."
Several of the surviving officers from the Mountain Army kneeled on the floor, their bodies trembling in fear like mice before a cat. In this camp, the person with the highest status was Great General Dusong Mangpoje, but the person everyone feared the most was Dayan Mangban, because everyone knew that the true commanding officer was this Asura of the empire.
And in terms of methods, everyone knew that Lord Dayan Mangban was far more tyrannical and ferocious than Dusong Mangpoje.
"Bastard thing, you still dare to argue? The largest army in Qixi is the Qixi Protectorate army, so if it's not them, are you saying that Anxi's Gao Xianzhi came over with his soldiers?"
Dayan Mangban's eyes were bursting with murderous fire.
Twenty to thirty thousand cavalry dying in battle was no small number. In Dayan Mangban's life, one of the things he loathed the most was a defeated officer, and the only thing he found more insufferable was one of these incompetents who had clearly lost but still had the nerve to argue. The steppe worshiped strength and valor, and no one could accept such timidity and incompetence.
A frightened Tibetan general with a somewhat smaller frame said, "Milord, it wasn't the Anxi army. They were from Wushang…" But the word 'Wushang' had barely left his mouth when the atmosphere in the tent suddenly changed. The murderous Dayan Mangban seemed galvanized, and his body trembled as he suddenly raised his head, his eyes fixed on that general.
Sensing the change in Dayan Mangban, all the Mountain Army generals in the tent fell silent out of fear. No one understood why Dayan Mangban had such a large reaction, but in an instant, everyone subconsciously turned toward that thin and small general.
"Milord, I once heard about some information regarding Wushang from the soldiers in another army. At the triangular gap in the northeast, those Tang were building a fortress out of steel in front of us at incredible speeds. It's exactly the same style as Wushang's City of Steel, cast from the same mold. Before the battle, I attempted to warn General Buluhu, but General was intent on fighting and wouldn't listen."
The general kneeled on the ground, his hands clenched tight as he attempted to make as little movement as possible.
With these final words, the tent fell into an eerie silence. Dayan Mangban, who had been like a furious lion just moments ago, had suddenly fallen quiet. This transformation made all the Mountain Army generals uneasy, and some of them even snuck glances at each other, but no one dared to speak.
No one knew what had happened.
"Tell me, what did the commander of the enemy army look like?" An icy voice rang out in the tent, devoid of any emotion.
Raising their heads, the generals realized that Dayan Mangban had stood up from his seat. His expression was calm, but even the slowest of them could tell that this was not a true calm. On the contrary, this calm and cool Dayan Mangban was even scarier than Dayan Mangban in apoplectic rage.
"Milord, the Tang man leading the soldiers was an eight-foot-tall man riding a Ferghana horse and wielding a sword longer than the average man. He was extremely terrifying, but he wasn't the true commander of the army," another Mountain Army general said. "Instead, it was a youth of seventeen or eighteen. We all noticed that all the Tang soldiers followed his lead, including that eight-foot giant riding the Ferghana horse…"
The cracking of knuckles rang out through the tent, interrupting the words of the general. Alarmed, the Mountain Army officers raised their heads and realized that Dayan Mangban's calm face had suddenly turned ashen, his cold and aloof eyes turning frighteningly gloomy.
Their hearts began to thump and they hurriedly shut their mouths.
No one knew that at this moment, the flames of rage in Dayan Mangban's heart were already reaching into the heavens. With the mention of Wushang and the talk of a seventeen- or eighteen-year-old youth, there were some things that no longer needed to be said.
Dayan Mangban could already see who was standing across from him, clearly knew who had defeated the Mountain Army. Dayan Mangban had never expected that though they had just exchanged blows not too long ago, that Tang youth in the City of Steel would not wait for him to attack again, instead leading his own army to attack the plateau.
"Pass on my order! All soldiers move out to the northeast corner, the triangular gap! We leave immediately!" Dayan Mangban's chilly voice echoed through the tent, suffused with a frenzied killing intent.
No one in the tent dared to say anything more, and only hurriedly lowered their heads in agreement.
A few moments later, the plaintive and vigorous blares of the yak horns began to sound over the boundless Tibetan Plateau. As winds gusted, countless soldiers began to surge out of the thousands of black tents. Neeeigh! The crying of warhorses echoed over the plateau as the air turned grim and somber.
In a few moments, the earth began to shake, and the vast army of Tibetan cavalry moved out like a black tide. Amidst this surge of cavalry was a special unit, the sides of whose horses were emblazoned with a unique white symbol. This was that famous army under Dayan Mangban's command, the White Braves!
The mention of Wushang and Wang Chong had truly provoked Dayan Mangban's killing intent. Whether it was the deaths of the twenty-seven thousand recruits and Dayan Pugyal in Zhangzhung Training Camp or the destruction of Buluhu's army, or even… the deaths of the Ngari warriors in the southwest, Dayan Mangban had ample reasons to kill Wang Chong and exterminate this threat to Ü-Tsang.
Rumble! Trails of dust rose into the heavens as the army swiftly made its way to the northeast corner of the plateau. Meanwhile, the moment the army had moved out, a messenger had rushed into the even larger tent at the rear of the camp.
"Great General, bad news! General Dayan has given an order to mobilize the entire army and has left the camp, headed in the direction of Qixi Protectorate army's garrison."
The messenger kneeled on the ground, his head covered in sweat.
Everyone in Ü-Tsang knew that only Great Generals like Dusong Mangpoje, the highest commanders of the land, had the authority to mobilize the army. Without the permission and token of the Great General, Dayan Mangban's mobilization of the army was a severe crime according to Tibetan laws.
"It's fine; I already know."
In the black tent, Dusong Mangpoje was seated on a simple chair, one hand holding a cup of tea while the other held a tea lid, lightly pushing away the tea suds. This was the 'Er Tea' imported from the southwest along the Tea Horse Road. The Tibetan diet primarily consisted of overly greasy meat, so they bought tea bricks from the Great Tang and Mengshe Zhao.
As an Imperial Great General, Dusong Mangpoje could enjoy the finest quality of Er Tea.
When he heard the news that Dayan Mangban had mobilized the army, Dusong Mangpoje's face remained indifferent, seemingly uncaring.